Extravagant, inventive, emotionally sweeping, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is the story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history. The place is the Greek island of Cephallonia, where gods once took part in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically increases from his sarcophagus to cure the mad. Then, the tide of World War II rolls onto the island's shores in the form of the conquering Italian army. Caught in the occupation are Pelagia, a willful, beautiful young woman, and the two suitors vying for her love: Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, a reluctant officer of the Italian garrison on the island. Rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly with the fantastic, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a passionate novel as rich in ideas as it is genuinely moving.
Louis de Bernières, a British novelist who was born on 8 December 1954 is most famous for his fourth novel, Captain Corelli's Mandolin. In 1993, de Bernières was selected as one of the "20 Best of Young British Novelists", part of a promotion in Granta magazine. Captain Corelli's Mandolin was published in the following year and won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book. It has been translated into over 11 languages and is an international bestseller. Captain Corelli's Mandolin is De Bernières' most famous book, in which the eponymous hero is an Italian soldier who is part of the occupying force on the Greek island of Cephalonia during the Second World War.